Lawrence city commissioners already have endorsed the changes as part of their 1997 budget discussions related to police protection downtown.
Downtown Lawrence Inc. (DLI), a group of downtown business and property owners, asked the city to provide additional police officers downtown -- to help stop increasing problems with customer intimidation, skateboarding and vandalism in the area.
The higher parking rates, in theory, will finance hiring more officers.
The higher fees also could spur more turnover in downtown's choice parking spots, giving shoppers more places to park. David Longhurst, DLI president, said the habitual violators category could help discourage employees from parking in downtown's "free" lots, which are intended for shoppers.
Fines would double next year for downtown parking violations, under a proposal awaiting approval Tuesday night from Lawrence city commissioners.
The proposed ordinance would:
- Increase parking fines from $1 to $2 per violation.
- Create a "habitual violators" category, which would make the fifth violation received within 30 days carry a $15 fine, plus the usual $2 fine.
- Increase long-term parking rates from 2.5 cents an hour to 5 cents an hour.
- Allow revenues from the new fees to finance hiring of three police officers to patrol downtown streets.
- Give the city manager "explicit authority" to issue necessary rules and regulations to run the downtown parking system. City Manager Mike Wildgen would have authority to install signs and change meter locations.
The new fees and fines would go into effect Jan. 1.
- Receive presentation of first George Williams Award of Excellence to George Williams, the city's director of public works. The award will be presented by the Kansas chapter of the American Public Works Assn. Williams has worked for the city for more than 40 years.
- Approve a drinking establishment license for Louise's Downtown, 1009 Mass.
- Accept high bids for scrap and surplus equipment to be sold by the city -- including an office desk ($10, to Kaw Motor & Salvage Co.), obsolete water meters ($3,250, to Reiner's Metals) and five aquariums ($5, $10, $20, $7.50 and $7.50, to various vendors).
- Agree to hire Lawrence Landscape, for $15,025, to repair brick sidewalks in East Lawrence.
- Agree to hire Hamm Asphalt, for $1.8 million, to extend West Hamm Street from Foxfire Drive to the South Lawrence Trafficway. The city's share is estimated to be $900,000, with the remainder coming from assessments on surrounding properties.
- Approve two recommendations from the Traffic Safety Commission: prohibiting parking along the west side of East Drive, between Park Avenue and 23rd Street; and install a stop sign on 26th Terrace at O'Connell Road.
- Agree to dedicate 0.015 acres in the city's HAND addition, a low-income housing project.
- Approve installation of temporary signs for the Friends of the Library Book Sale, considered signs of community interest.
- Adopt resolutions allowing Lawrence Paper Co. to redeem industrial revenue bonds.
- Consider approving an ordinance, on first reading, to rezone one acre of land at 1917 Naismith for multifamily use. The property, now owned by First Southern Baptist Church, is slated for redevelopment into 11 three-bedroom apartments, to be called Naismith Street Station. Commissioners approved the rezoning on a 3-2 vote Sept. 10, but Commissioner Jo Andersen requested a "reconsideration" a week later. Andersen had voted in favor of the rezoning. If Andersen were to change her vote, the rezoning would fail, and the apartments would not be allowed.
- Receive a staff report concerning proposed annexations of properties along and south of West Sixth Street, near Folks Road. Commissioners would receive public comments from property owners.